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BEIJING, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Charles B. Wang, Chairman of Computer
Associates International, Inc., and founder of The Smile Train, today met with
the latest graduating class of Peking University Stomatological Hospital Key
Center, part of a national, cleft surgery training program sponsored by The
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010807/NYTU081 )
In addition to congratulating these surgeons and thanking them for their
commitment to helping children, Wang met the 20,000th child who has benefited
from The Smile Train program along with dozens of other patients.
In more than 27 countries around the world, The Smile Train empowers local
doctors and hospitals to provide free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery for
poor children who would otherwise not receive it. The Smile Train's free
surgery programs operate in more than 100 hospitals across China.
Smile Train patient number 20,000 is typical of the kind of child that The
Smile Train was created to help. Patient number 20,000 is a one-year old
orphan who was abandoned soon after birth because of her cleft lip and cleft
palate. She was found lying by the side of the road by a man with a big
heart, Li Yu Liang, a peasant from Hubei who brought her home and adopted her.
He named her Li Meiling, which means Beautiful Bell. Meiling was operated on
August 2 for both her cleft lip and her cleft palate. Her surgery went
extremely well and soon she will be going home with not only a new smile but
also a second chance at life. Interestingly enough, this is a second chance
for her adopted father who lost his wife to kidney disease shortly before he
came upon Meiling.
"20,000 surgeries since inception is quite a milestone for The Smile Train
and I want to thank the thousands of doctors and nurses who made it happen,"
said Wang. "I think of it as 20,000 miracles, each one an incredible
opportunity to give a suffering child not just a new smile but a new life.
Little Meiling is a great example of how this surgery can change someone's
life completely. Now she can grow up and be like any other little girl."
The latest graduating class of the Peking University Stomatological
Hospital Key Center includes 12 surgeons and anesthesiologists from three
northern Chinese provinces who have completed a two-month course of intensive
study and hands-on training in the latest techniques in cleft surgery. Over
the past two years The Smile Train has provided free training and education
for more than 1,500 Chinese doctors. In-country training is a critical
component of The Smile Train program which is built around empowering local
doctors to provide treatment.
"These doctors are the real heroes of The Smile Train," said Wang. "I
feel honored to meet them and certainly The Smile Train is very lucky to
attract such talented and committed individuals. These 12 doctors will go on
to change the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of children over their
careers. That's why our focus on training, and our strategy of investing in
people as much as programs, is what The Smile Train is all about. Long after
The Smile Train has left, doctors we have trained will be helping children
like Meiling. I can think of no better legacy than that."
About Smile Train
The Smile Train (http://www.smiletrain.org) is a non-profit organization
launched in 1998. Its goal is to eradicate the global problem of cleft lips
and palates. The Smile Train's comprehensive approach to the problem of
clefts involves free training for doctors, free surgery for children and
research to find a cure. It is supported by thousands of individuals and
private foundations and does not receive any governmental funding.
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SOURCE Smile Train